This is a really stylish and comfortable cafe/bar in the middle of the town. It is a great place to drink a (good) coffee and read the papers while you wait for your wife to look at the shops and then buy her a simple lunch and decent glass of wine! I have never been there in the evening but I believe they sometimes have (gentle) live music.
Market Street, Aberystwyth 01970 - 617606
Right on the seafront, the Penhelig is a small hotel which manages to remain a local pub. There is a cosy bar and pleasant restaurant where the food is good and the prices sensible.
Also excellent beer and wine.
Right on the front at the Machynlleth end of town. 01654 767215 - best to reserve when busy
Everyone raves about Barcelona’s famous La Boqueria market but Valencia’s is both bigger and better. The modernista building of stained glass and wrought iron is stunning, but it’s the array of produce, especially the wealth of fresh glistening seafood, that steals the show. If you’re staying in a hotel you’ll regret it if you visit Central - you'll want to take the lot home for dinner.
Open until 2.30pm, Plaza del Mercado.
The market is fab to wander around anyway, but you can eat a lovely breakfast at one of the stalls at the back of the market and watch the shopping activity from the comfort of your stool.
Plaza del Mercado, 6, Valencia, Spain
A brilliant mussels tapas bar tiled beautifully. Stand at the bar and drop the shells down into the waiting buckets.
Barman tetchy if you just order beer though, he started muttering to us about the stag group that came in just for a drink. The bar is also on the square which joins the main tapas/hanging around strip.
13 Moro Zeit 13
Phone: +34 96 391 0497
Tapas Bar, small atmospheric bar, wonderful house tapas, friendly service, great cava in wide champagne glasses, don't forget to leave room for the sweet biscuits and a glass of sweet sherry to dip them in.
C.Montcada near to the Picasso Museum
Essentially this is a bread stick sandwich with the typical Spanish potato omelette. The aspect that makes it different in Valencia is that the bread is liberally spread/loaded with alioli - a garlic mayonnaise which is just perfect for the aforementioned sandwich.
Anywhere in the city of Valencia. My favourite was a bar down one of the side streets near the train station. It was called Bar Turia. Well worthwhile - a good beer with the sandwich dripping garlic at a decent price.
A fantastic cafe located on a typical cobbled road in Chão de Meninos, São Pedro de Sintra. Great coffee and cakes.
A traditional Portuguese period building tastefully restored in a rustic style. Choose from cushioned windowseats in the interior or sitting in the shade on the esplanade.
An excellent range of traditional pastries and cakes is available throughout the day, and at lunchtime, hot and cold meals are served with a selection of local wines. Don't miss it.
Café da Natália - 21 923 56 79
Mariazinha Casa de Pasto, a small restaurant in the village of Almoçagem, Sintra, on the way to the beach Praia da Adraga.
A traditional restaurant frequented by the locals. The interior is decorated with some interesting poems and sketches by the clientele. The restaurant offers typical Portuguese home cooking accompanied by jugs of wine.
Excellent value and a friendly service. A must if you are in the area.
New breakfast brunch cafe along Park View, next to a great selection of shops and boutiques. It has great coffee and wonderful eggs benedict.
Lovely place to relax and meet friends. Open every day!
203 park view
The island of Torcello, 45 minutes from Venice by Vaporetto, is where Venice began. A perfect antidote to palaces and high renaissance art.
This tiny windswept island in the marshes was the place where the first settlers, fleeing from Attila the Hun, found refuge and laid the foundations for the mighty Venetian republic. Incredibly it once had 20,000 inhabitants before malaria took hold. Now all that's left is a wonderful church with fantastic 11th century mosaics and a bell tower which gives stunning views over allotments, marshes and the distant towers and domes of Venice.
There's also a rather fine restaurant Al Ponte del Diavolo, serving (very) local rabbit and fine pasta with wild fennel sauce (on the day we went). A perfect place for a spring lunch and to reflect on the beginnings and end of the Venetian republic!
Take the Vaporetto (LN route) from Fondamente Nuove stop. Change at Burano for shuttle to Torcello.
This cosy wine house five minutes from the Rialto serves dozens of wonderful wines by the glass, starting at about 1.5 euros for a glass of prosecco.
Also serves delicious bar food - when it's gone, it's gone. The atmosphere is that of a private party - you can spill out on to the street or eat at little drop-down ledges, built into the walls of the shop.
A great alternative to an expensive and indifferent meal in a tourist restaurant.
Cannaregio 5984 / Salizada San Canciano
Ty Derw is a fantastic five-star B&B set in a breathtaking valley in Snowdonia. It's both stylish and really homely, the room we stayed in had a beautiful bathroom and was spotlessly clean.
The breakfast was great and they also offer a daily dinner menu with locally sourced food and an interesting and well-priced wine list.
The couple who run Ty Derw did everything they could to make us feel welcome and at home, it was a truly relaxing and luxurious break, I'd strongly recommend it.
Ty Derw B&B
One of the best restaurants in the world, tucked away in the far corner of Skye. Great food in a stunning location. I was slightly concerned that the service would be stuffy or too formal, but it was a relaxed place to eat dinner.
Not cheap but well worth splashing out for a special occasion. Bring your big chief i-spy book of celebs - you may spot a few in here.
THE THREE CHIMNEYS
COLBOST, DUNVEGAN, ISLE OF SKYE, IV55 8ZT
Tel: 01470 511258
Fax: 01470 511358
Every Saturday in the centre of the town is this really sweet little market. Great food, very friendly.
Great way to start a weekend in Galway.There's usually a really friendly crowd around.
Shop Street, Galway, every Saturday
Large tapas bar in the heart of the city centre, hidden in behind the George Street Arcade. Decent portions, though not particularly cheap.
Its a massive space with exposed brick and palms. The service is iffy, but the atmosphere is great and mercifully there isn't any music, a rarity these days.
George Street Arcade
There are plenty of sidrerias (cider bars) in Madrid, but this one in the gay-friendly Chueca district is a huge stand-out for the quality and, especially, the quantity of the complimentary tapas. 1.50 a 'caña' isn't cheap, but you'll get a steaming pile of piggy, bready delights along with it, and that's every time you take a drink.
Also a great place for vast filled 'bocadillos' (baguette sandwiches), and various other tasty 'raciones'. Just watch out for complimentary paella - myself and others have been laid low by food poisoning for some time after a visit. The fact that I'm still recommending the place tells you just how good it is.
One final thing - get there early if you have any kind of designs on a table.
c/ Infantas, metro Chueca
It's a poor guide book which doesn't mention this place (go for the tiny taberna on c/Victoria, rather than the larger, more restaurant style versions on c/ Nunez de Arce and c/Goya).
However, I'm not sure any of them mention that if you order a 'racion' of langostinos a la plancha rather than the road-more-trodden gambas a la plancha, you get twice as many for just 20 cents more. Tastes just as good to me. Upon leaving, I've always been given a voucher for a free 'chato' of the delicious sticky house wine at one of their other restaurants. Ask if they don't volunteer it.
12, c/ Victoria, metro Sol
Excellent fish restaurant in local area of Marchmont, just 15 minutes' walk from city centre through the lovely Meadows.
The local fish shop is next door so you know whatever's on the menu is as fresh as it's going to get. We had the salt and pepper squid to start with which I would happily eat again and again and the Thai chicken soup which was flavoured to perfection and contained an abundance of chicken. There are other fish, meat and vegetarian starters.
For mains we chose roast fillets of red snapper, sea bass with cockles, mussels and fennel and pernod sauce and also a grilled duck-breast with a jus of wine and blackcurrant sauce. Both outstanding with fantastic flavours and succulent flesh.
Make sure you leave room for pudding, especially the warm hazelnut and chocolate pudding and also a scrumptious sticky toffee pudding.
Staff are friendly and efficient and the cooking in the kitchen is some of the best you will experience in Edinburgh.
Starters are about £5 and mains about £13.
11 Roseneath Street, Marchmont
Edinburgh, tel: 0131-229 7953
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